Mastering The Art of Hairstyling – How to Use Thinning Shears

how to use thinning shears


Creating a flawless and well-textured haircut is the goal of every skilled hairstylist. One essential tool in achieving this is the thinning shears, also known as texturizing or blending shears. These specialized scissors are designed to reduce the thickness of hair without drastically altering its length, resulting in a more natural and polished look. In this article, we will explore the art of using thinning shears to enhance your hairstyling skills.

Understanding Thinning Shears

Thinning shears are a vital tool for hairstylists and barbers, as they enable them to add dimension and texture to hair, remove excess bulk, and create soft, seamless transitions between different hair lengths. They consist of two blades with teeth-like notches along one edge, which, when they come together, selectively remove hair to create a layered effect. These notches come in various configurations, ranging from fine to coarse, allowing for different degrees of texturizing.

Choosing the Right Pair

Before diving into the technique, it’s essential to select the right pair of thinning shears. The choice of thinning shears should depend on the hair type and the desired result. Here are some considerations

1. Teeth Configuration: Thinning shears come in various tooth configurations. Shears with fewer teeth are ideal for taking out more significant chunks of hair, making them suitable for thick hair, while those with more teeth are better for fine hair. For versatile use, consider having different shears with various tooth densities in your kit.

2. Length and Handle: The length and handle of the shears should be comfortable for you to hold and maneuver. Make sure they feel balanced and ergonomic in your hand.

3. Quality: Invest in high-quality shears to ensure precision and longevity. Cheap shears may damage hair and require frequent sharpening.

4. Adjustable Screw: Some thinning shears have an adjustable screw that allows you to control the amount of hair being removed. This feature can be very useful for fine-tuning your work.


To achieve professional results, proper preparation is crucial. Here are the steps to prepare for using thinning shears

1. Start with Clean, Dry Hair: Thinning shears work best on clean, dry hair. Wet or dirty hair can cause the shears to bind or become less effective.

2. Section the Hair: Divide the hair into sections using clips or hair ties. This makes it easier to work on specific areas without getting overwhelmed.

3. Identify the Target Areas: Determine which areas of the hair need thinning. Typically, you’ll want to focus on the mid-lengths and ends to remove excess bulk and create a natural look.

The Technique

Now, let’s explore the technique of using thinning shears

1. Holding the Shears: Hold the thinning shears with your dominant hand and keep your thumb in the larger hole and your ring and middle fingers in the smaller hole. This grip allows you to control the shears’ pressure and direction effectively.

2. Starting at the Mid-Lengths: Begin at the mid-lengths of the hair, as this is where you’ll usually want to remove excess bulk. It’s best to start conservatively and work your way up if you need to remove more hair.

3. Angle Matters: Hold the shears at a slight angle to the hair, ensuring that the teeth of the shears are facing away from the scalp. This angle prevents creating harsh lines and ensures a seamless blend with the surrounding hair.

4. Gradual Cutting: Gently close the shears as you move downwards through the hair, allowing the teeth to take out small sections at a time. Avoid making abrupt cuts to maintain a natural look. The key is to create soft, textured layers.

5. Combining Techniques: Depending on the effect you want to achieve, you can employ different techniques. For instance, the point-cutting technique involves opening and closing the shears while slightly moving them upward, creating soft, staggered layers. The sliding cut involves moving the shears horizontally along the hair to remove bulk.

6. Frequent Checking: As you work, continually assess the hair to ensure you’re achieving the desired texture. It’s easier to remove more hair later if needed than to fix over-thinning.

7. Cross-Check: After completing one section, release the clipped hair, and cross-check by combing through it to ensure even thinning. Make any necessary adjustments as you go.

8. Feathering the Ends: To create a natural finish, consider feathering the ends of the hair. This involves lightly closing the shears and making small, quick, and controlled cuts near the tips to soften the edges.

Post-Thinning Care

Once you’ve completed thinning the hair, it’s important to provide post-thinning care to ensure a polished look

1. Style as Usual: Style the hair as per your client’s preferences. The textured effect created by thinning shears will enhance the overall look.

2. Product Recommendations: Suggest hair products that can maintain the desired texture, such as texturizing sprays or creams. These products help hold the style and emphasize the layered effect.

3. Maintenance: Educate your client on proper hair care and maintenance. Let them know that regular trims and thinning touch-ups will keep their hairstyle looking fresh.


Do you use thinning shears dry or wet?

Generally best used on dry hair but can also be used on wet. If used on wet hair, you need to be extra careful to not over use them. Once the hair is dried you may realize the style/cut has been lost or even ruined!

Do thinning shears remove hair?

ANS:Whilst thinning shears are slightly different from texturising scissors, they both remove hair without losing the length or shape of the haircut. Thinning scissors work to remove weight from the hair, whereas texturising scissors add volume and movement to the style.


Thinning shears are a hairstylist’s secret weapon for creating natural, textured, and beautifully layered haircuts. By selecting the right pair of shears, preparing the hair properly, and mastering the technique, you can achieve professional results that leave your clients looking and feeling their best. So, whether you’re a seasoned stylist or an aspiring one, mastering the art of using thinning shears is a valuable skill to add to your repertoire. With practice, patience, and a keen eye for detail, you can create stunning hairstyles that your clients will love.

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